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Primary subtype C HIV-1 infection in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Author information

1
Stanford University Medical Center, Center for AIDS Research, California 94305, USA.

Abstract

Heterosexual transmission of HIV-1 is widespread in Southern Africa. Heteroduplex mobility assays (HMA) and phylogenetic analyses of V3-V5 envelope (env) gene sequences demonstrate that subtype C predominates in Zimbabwe. To elucidate factors contributing to the epidemic in Zimbabwe, clinical and virologic characteristics of recently acquired subtype C HIV-1 infection among 21 men and 1 woman were determined. In 12 of 19 men providing clinical histories, a sexually transmitted infection preceded serologic evidence of HIV-1, and 14 of 19 men complained of rash or fever before seroconversion. Quantitative p24 antigen levels, reverse transcriptase activity, and HIV RNA levels of 22 viral isolates correlated with in vitro infectivity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (p < .05). Biologic phenotype assessed in MT-2 cells demonstrated that 3 of 22 isolates (14%) were syncytia inducing (SI) and the remaining 19 nonsyncytium inducing (NSI). Early growth of virus in culture was associated with increased plasma HIV RNA levels, decreased CD4 cell levels, and SI virus. Recent subtype C HIV-1 infection through heterosexual transmission in Zimbabwe demonstrated clinical and virologic features consistent with reports of seroconversion to subtype B viruses.

PIP:

HIV-1 subtype C predominates in Zimbabwe. To identify factors which contribute to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe, clinical and virologic characteristics of recently acquired HIV-1 subtype C infection among 21 men and 1 woman were determined. Among 12 of the 19 men who provided clinical histories, a sexually transmitted infection preceded serologic evidence of HIV-1, while 14 of 19 men complained of rash or fever before seroconversion. Quantitative p24 antigen levels, reverse transcriptase activity, and HIV RNA levels of 22 viral isolates correlated with in vitro infectivity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Biologic phenotype assessed in MT-2 cells found that 3 of 22 (14%) isolates were syncytia-inducing (SI), while the remaining 19 were non-syncytium-inducing (NSI). The early growth of HIV in culture was associated with increased plasma HIV RNA levels, decreased CD4 cell levels, and SI virus. These cases of recent HIV-1 subtype C infection through heterosexual transmission in Zimbabwe manifested clinical and virologic features consistent with reports of seroconversion to subtype B viruses.

PMID:
10048901
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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